23 Apr Wear Socks to Bed?
Should You Wear Socks To Sleep?
Believe it or not, the subject of sleeping with socks gets heated debate on both sides. Who would have thought a pair of cuddly foot warmers could create any controversy? There are good health reasons to leave them off, but there are also good reasons to keep them on. What’s the answer? It all comes down to your personal needs.
Reasons To Wear Them
What are some good reasons to wear socks to bed? Most of them involve thermoregulation.
They Keep You Cool
Although it seems counterintuitive, wearing socks to sleep can actually help your body cool down, which is crucial to a good night’s sleep. That’s because they prompt vasodilation, which is when your blood vessels relax and allow your blood to flow freely. Vasodilation helps your body expel heat, reach a cool inner temperature and fall asleep faster.
Socks Stop Hot Flashes
Socks allow your body to stay cool and increase thermoregulation, which is your body’s way of maintaining a regular core temperature. Hormonal changes can throw your body’s regulators out of balance. Wearing socks to sleep helps your body regulate its temperature and respond better to these hormonal shifts. If you’re a woman who’s experiencing hot flashes at night, try sleeping with your socks on.
They Prevent Reynaud’s Syndrome
Reynaud’s syndrome is a blood vessel disorder. People who have it frequently have chilly hands and feet. Stress or exposure to cold temperatures can cause numbing in the fingers and toes among people with Reynaud’s. If you have this syndrome, wearing socks will keep you warm and prevent attacks of Reynaud’s syndrome.
Reasons To Leave Them Off
There are also good arguments for leaving your socks on the floor and not on your feet at bedtime.
They Promote Infection
Like the skin on the rest of your body, the skin on your feet needs to breathe. Wearing socks and shoes all day prevents your feet from getting fresh, dry air. If your socks are damp or not that clean, your feet can develop fungal infections like athlete’s foot and fungal nails. If you regularly expose your feet to places where fungal infections are likely, like swimming pools and fitness centers, it might be better to leave the socks off.
They Constrict Growth
Children’s feet are constantly changing and growing. To accommodate these changes, it’s important not to bind or constrict their feet. Let them walk barefoot if it’s safe, and don’t let them sleep with their socks on. To grow and develop properly, little feet need to run free.
They Can Give You Smelly Feet
If they’re not dry, clean and breathable, socks can increase foot odors caused by dirt and bacteria trapped on your skin. This leads to smelly socks and smelly feet. It also increases your chances of developing a skin or foot condition.
You Can Get Too Hot
Wearing socks induces vasodilatation in your body. While that can be helpful, it can also lead to overheating if you wear socks that are too thick, aren’t breathable or otherwise constrict your blood vessels. Here, vasodilatation will cause you to overheat because your body can’t expel the heat it’s creating.
Choose the Right Socks
If you’re going to wear socks to bed, make sure they are clean. Keep one pair of socks you use only at bedtime. Also, make sure they’re made of breathable, natural fibers. The best materials for socks are:
- Merino wool.
What If Socks Aren’t Your Thing?
Despite the benefits, you’re still not sure you want to wear socks to bed. Don’t change what works for you, but consider using a hot water bottle near your feet or soaking your feet in warm water before you go to bed. These tactics will give you the benefits of socks without the potential downsides.
Sock It To Us
At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we approve of socks that protect and cushion your feet. If you have any foot-related concerns, make an appointment at our Loudoun County clinic today.